Saturday, January 30, 2016

Dick Romanski - One Thing I Bet You Didn't Know

LOOKING BACK
by John Turney 



Dick Romanski, the Oakland Raiders long-time equipment manager passed away last November. He had held that job for the franchise nearly fifty years. Much lore surrounded Romanski, the man who made sure Fred Biletnikoff  and Lester Hayes had plenty of stickum or wrote obcenities on the Raiders practice footballs to keep players from taking them.

It is not clear if he helped Bob "Boomer" Brown sharpen long screws were put on the inside of a helmet that they poked out to ensure that when Deacon Jones used a headslap on Brown that Jones would end up with a quick laceration and deter him from employing that technique the rest of the game. Brown may have done that one on his own.

However, it was interesting to learn that Romanski would tweak the color of the Raiders helmets every so often to give them a different silver hue.

According to Helmet Hut's Dr. Del Rye: (I)t seems ironic that the standard silver hue that has been used over the past 40 years by teams such as the Lions, Oilers, Panthers, Patriots and Raiders has been formally labeled "Raider Silver" by the paint and helmet suppliers. 

Over the years the Raiders have unofficially changed the standard hue of their helmets more than any other team. According to current Raider's equipment manager Bobby Romanski, his father and former longtime Raider's equipment manager Dick Romanski would arbitrarily tweak the standard "Raider Silver" helmet paint formula.

 Some years Dick had a portion of blue color added to the standard formula which darkened the appearance of their helmets. One season, in what seems almost sacrilegious to the Raider image, a portion of pink color was added giving the helmets a subtle champagne glow. We are not sure what inspired Mr. Romanski to take it upon himself to make these changes but they were done during an era where the uniform colors and appearance were not as strictly regulated as they now are."

So, maybe it wasn't your eyes or lighting conditions or film that made the helmets look a bit different one year from the next. Some of these do look slightly different. You be the judge.





Thursday, January 28, 2016

Super Bowl Golden Team, Plus the Dream Team (1999), Silver Team (1990) and All-Time Team (1985)

PERSPECTIVE
by John Turney
Silver Anniversary Super Bowl Team Art credit: Cliff Spohn
Today, the NFL announced the 50th Anniversary Super Bowl Team. So, here it is along with three other Super Bowl teams announced at various times. The 25th Anniversary Team was chosen by the Hall of Fame voters. The Super Bowl Dream Team was an official NFL.com fan poll and the 1985 All-Time Super Bowl Team was chosen by 16 writers who had covered all the Super Bowls at that time and was published in the Miami Herald.
Credit: NFL Pro Set
NFL announces Super Bowl “Golden Team
Jan. 28, 2016 
OFFENSE
Joe Montana, QB; Jay Novacek, TE; Emmitt Smith, Franco Harris, RB; Lynn Swann, Jerry Rice, WR; Mike Webster, C; Art Shell, Forrest Gregg, T; Gene Upshaw, Larry Allen, G.
DEFENSE
Reggie White. Charles Haley, DE; Joe Greene, Randy White, DT; Lawrence Taylor, Jack Ham, OLB; Ray Lewis, Jack Lambert, ILB; Mel Blount, Deion Sanders, CB; Ronnie Lott, Jake Scott, S.
SPECIAL TEAMS
Adam Vinatieri, PK; Ray Guy, P; Desmond Howard, KR.

Credit: NFL Pro Set
Super Bowl's Silver Anniversary Team
December 12, 1990

Head coach -- Vince Lombardi (Packers)
OFFENSE
Wide receivers -- Lynn Swann (Steelers), Jerry Rice (49ers).
Tight end -- Dave Casper (Raiders).
Tackles -- Art Shell (Raiders), Forrest Gregg (Packers, Cowboys)
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/images/pixel.gif
Guards -- Gene Upshaw (Raiders), Jerry Kramer (Packers).
Center -- Mike Webster (Steelers).
Quarterback -- Joe Montana (49ers).
Running backs -- Franco Harris (Steelers), Larry Csonka (Dolphins).
Kicker -- Jan Stenerud (Chiefs).
Kick returner -- John Taylor (49ers).
DEFENSE
Ends -- L.C. Greenwood (Steelers), Ed "Too Tall" Jones Cowboys).
Tackles -- Joe Greene (Steelers), Randy White (Cowboys).
Outside linebackers -- Jack Ham (Steelers), Ted Hendricks (Colts, Raiders).
Inside linebackers -- Jack Lambert (Steelers), Mike Singletary (Bears).
Cornerbacks -- Ronnie Lott (49ers), Mel Blount (Steelers).
Safeties -- Donnie Shell (Steelers), Willie Wood (Packers).
Punter -- Ray Guy (Oakland Raiders).
Credit: Merv Corning

1999
NFL.com's Super Bowl Dream Team
Offense
QB - Joe Montana
RB - Franco Harris and Emmitt Smith
WR- Jerry Rice and Lynn Swann
TE - Jay Novacek
G – Nate Newton and Gene Upshaw
T - Anthony Munoz and Joe Jacoby
C - Mike Webster

Defense
DE - Reggie White and Charles Haley
LB -Jack Lambert, Lawrence Taylor, Mike Singletary and Ray Nitschke
DT - Mean Joe Greene
CB - Mel Blount and Eric Wright
S - Ronnie Lott and Donnie Shell

Sp. Teams
KR/PR - Desmond Howard
K – Ray Wersching
P- Ray Guy
Coach - Chuck Noll

Credit: NFL Pro Set
1985 ALL-TIME SUPER TEAM

Offense
WR -- Lynn Swann, Steelers 75-76-79-80 
WR -- John Stallworth, Steelers 75-76-79-80 
T -- Forrest Gregg, Packers 67-68 
T -- Dave Herman, Jets 69 
G -- Bob Kuechenberg, Dolphins 72-73-74-82 
G -- Jerry Kramer, Packers 67-68 
C -- Jim Langer, Dolphins 72-73-74 
TE -- Dan Ross, Bengals 82 
QB -- Terry Bradshaw, Steelers 75-76-79-80 
FB -- Larry Csonka, Dolphins 72-74 
RB -- Marcus Allen, Raiders 84 
PK -- Jan Stenerud, Chiefs 70 Defense

Defense
DE -- L.C. Greenwood, Steelers 75-76-79-80 
DE -- Willie Davis, Packers 67-68 
DT -- Randy White, Cowboys 76-78-79 
DT -- Bob Lilly, Cowboys 71-72 
MLB -- Jack Lambert, Steelers 75-76-79-80 
OLB -- Rod Martin, Raiders 81-84 
OLB -- Chuck Howley, Cowboys 71-72 
CB -- Lester Hayes, Raiders 81-84 
CB -- Mel Blount, Steelers 75-76-79-80 
S -- Jake Scott, Dolphins 72-73-74 
S -- Willie Wood, Packers 67-68 
P -- Jerrel Wilson, Chiefs 67-70 

Voters: the 16 writers who have covered every Super Bowl. 

The writers are Si Burick, Dayton Daily News; Robert Burnes, formerly of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat; Dick Connor, Rocky Mountain News; Art Daly, formerly of The Green Bay Press- Gazette; Larry Felser, Buffalo Evening News; Mel Durslag, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner; Jerry Greene, Detroit News; Jerry Izenberg and Dave Klein, Newark Star Ledger; Augie Lio, Passaic (N.J.) Herald-News; Will McDonough, Boston Globe; Norm Miller, New York Daily News; Bob Oates, Los Angeles Times; Edwin Pope, Miami Herald; Cooper Rollow, Chicago Tribune, and John Steadman, Baltimore News-American. 
Credit: NFL Pro Set
 For a must read on Super Bowl All-Star Teams Click HERE for Rick Gosselin's take.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ron Rivera and the Player He Replaced: Otis Wilson

LOOKING BACK
by John Turney

"No question, Ron saved my butt"--Joe Kapp, Cal Head Coach, 1983.

Sports Illustrated described why this way. In part, it reads, "With 1:20 to go and the score tied at 17-17, Bears Kicker Randy Pratt made a 22-yard field goal, but he was roughed on the play. Defying common wisdom, Cal Coach Joe Kapp elected to take the penalty—and the three points off the board—and go for the TD. On the next play, with the ball on the Aggie two-yard line, Quarterback Gale Gilbert fumbled the snap. A&M recovered, but two plays later Hawkins, sweeping to his right, was trapped by Rivera in the end zone. Said Kapp, "No question, Ron saved my butt."

Ron Rivera was a fabulous high school player and Everybody's All-American in 1983 at the University of California. As a senior, he was allowed to freelance, line up wherever he thought he could impact the upcoming play.  Oregon Head Coach Rich Brooks was quoted as saying, "They let him go wherever he wants, do whatever he wants and let him whip the hell out of whomever he wants"

He was seen as a good all-around linebacker who has special skills as a pass rusher. He was 6-3, 225 pounds with 4.7 speed and was said to have "deceptive speed", meaning he played faster than his time. It was enough for him to be drafted in the 2nd round of the 1984 NFL Draft. In the First round the Bears selected Wilbur Marshall, a dominant college player out of Florida. It couldn't have been a good omen for Otis Wilson, the Bears starting left linebacker.
Credit: Merv Corning
With those two picks secured, when Falcon tight end Junior Miller was holding out, the Bears offered Wilson even-up for Miller. The Falcons declined.

Wilson had been a slow starter for the Bears, a First round pick in the 1980 NFL Draft. Wilson was listed at 6-2, 224 pounds and had a published 40-yard time of 4.6. He was another "everybody's All-American" at Louisville in 1979. But, he found himself in the midst of Buddy Ryan perfecting his 46 defense and at times during his first four years he flashed, but also frustrated Ryan and Bear Head Coach Mike Ditka. The additions of Marshall and Rivera had to be a signal to Wilson.

In 1984 he began to show his potential and was consistently making plays, adding in his bravado (predicting a Patriots shutout in Super Bowl XX). Wilson, in the 46 would line up on the strong side, far outside the tight end with Richard Dent on the opposite side. In the base defense, he was the left outside linebacker.

From 1984-87 he averaged 9 sacks a year (counting 1987 as a half-season) as the bookend to Richard Dent. However, it is an interesting note that Wilson did that while not being on the field when the Bears were in their nickel defense, in likely passing situations. Singletary and Marshall were the two linebackers in that package.

Of course, this was the NFL of the 1980s, not the 2010s where anywhere from 40% to 67% of the time defenses are in nickel or dime packages. In the 1980s, it was less common. And with the Bears probably less common than with other teams. In 1984-85 Sporting News reported that the Bears were in the 46 defense around 40% of the time. After Ryan left it was said that percentage dropped to about half of that, perhaps around 20%. So, it seems sure that in 1984-85, at least, they were not in the nickel that much and Wilson didn't miss too many snaps, but in 1986-87 he likely missed more as the Bears focused more on the nickel in passing situations.

Rivera, in the mean time was playing special teams and filling in where called upon. In 1986 he got the call to start his first two games, filling in for Mike Singeltary and did a good job, recording 11 tackles in his first start and eight in his second. He also would fill in on special packages Ryan had in his playbook such as the fourth linebacker in their 4-4 and also in the 3-4 (yes, they did use it occasionally) and in a 1985 Monday Night Game against the Vikings, Rivera got his first forced fumble of his career and his first piece of a sack in that 3-4 package.




However, he didn't get his first real playing time until 1987 when Wilson was injured and Rivera showed well. In the six games he got almost all the snaps (including 5 starts) he recorded 30 tackles, 5 of them for losses, picked off two passes and got a sack.

It is no wonder when Wilson, in August of 1988, tore up his knee, that Rivera got the call to step in. The next two seasons, 1988-89 Rivera was solid but nothing spectacular. He was what could be called "just a guy", making a few players, but not what the Bears wanted from their SAM backer and he was replaced by John Roper who was more in the mold of Wilson.

Meanwhile, the Bears left Wilson unprotected in Plan B free agency and the Los Angeles Raiders signed him. In a short bit in Los Angeles, Wilson was signed, cut, resigned for less money, started one game and then cut again, for good this time. Raider Head Coach Mike Shanahan wasn't ready to blame the injury, but suggested that Wilson was not 100%, but the bottom line was, "Otis wasn't making the plays he needs to make". And that ended Wilson's career.

Again, it would have been interesting to see how Wilson may have fared in the Raiders 3-4 defense (where Wilson was penciled in as the LOLB) that relied heavily on sub packages, which they called "bandit" (nickle), "renegade" (dime) and "desperado" (7 dbs) with Howie Long moving to DT and Greg Townsend at one end and Wilson at the other. Would have been fun.

Wilson seemed custom-made for the 3-4 and ironically, he was one of the few OLBers that never really got to play it. Of course, he had a more unique experience with the 46 and had tremendous success.

Here are some screenshots of Wilson in man coverage on TE Clint Didier in 1985 when Bears were using a 4-4-3 defense against the Redskins.





However, it begs the question, if he can get 9 sacks a year in the base 4-3 and 46  then what might he have done if he played the 3-4 in base and DE in a 40 nickel like an Andre Tippett did or a Von Miller does today? Wilson certainly shared some physical attributes with the rushbackers of the day and of today. He even line up as a defensive lineman on a few occasions in 1985.
Otis Wilson playing 3-technique between Dent and William Perry
As for Rivera, he ended his career as a backup for the Bears, as always, playing special teams, but his career never really reaching the levels he was drafted for. However, the various defenses he played in surely prepared him for his next career: coaching.

Rivera had a stint in the media, then in 1997 he got into NFL coaching. He learned under the Jim Johnson-scheme in Philadelphia, and then was the Bears defensive coordinator under Lovie Smith where he became expert in the Tampa-2 scheme. He moved on to the Chargers and learned the ins- and outs of Ted Cotrell's 3-4 defense before becoming the coordinator there. Next stop was Carolina, then the playoffs, now the Super Bowl.

Career summaries for both:
Chart credit: PFJ
Chart credit: PFJ


Monday, January 25, 2016

Youngblood, Dobler and Merlin and the "Cheap Shot": Who Got It Right?

LOOKING BACK
by John Turney

A few years back Jack Youngblood approached Conrad Dobler and an event of some sort and said "Conrad you've got to stop telling that story, it didn't happen that way."  Apparently Dobler had been recounting his version in a story about a 1976 St. Louis Cardinal-Los Angeles Rams game that was nationally televised. In that version Dober remembered things Youngblood didn't, but now, we may have the details that will get everyone on the same page.

The story in question has been a recounted in three different books. New Thinking Man's Guide to Professional Football by Paul Zimmerman, They Call Me Dirty by Conrad Dobler and Blood by Jack Youngblood and Joe Engle.

                        
The problem is the stories do not match the event, at least in the details, and as you know that is where the devil is found. In Zimmerman's book Merlin Olsen is telling the story and it is found on page 12:
New Thinking Man's Guide to Professional Football, Zimmerman p. 12.

Then, there is a more sinister version in Dobler's book:
They Call Be Dirty, Dobler pg 35.
Dobler maintains that there was an attempt to take him out but going low into his knees, something that would cross even Dobler's line of ethics.

Finally,  there is the Youngblood version as told to Joel Engle:
Blood. Jack Youngbood and Joel Engle pg 129-130.
Okay, so who is right? Well, all three are off a little bit. The part that bothered Youngblood was the version that he went after Dobler's knees. Youngblood maintains it was a hit to the ribs. Olsen and Dobler say the caper failed and Youngblood hit Olsen's legs. That isn't accurate, either.

Youngblood did hit Dobler ribs, but the "Dick Butkus pop" was not accurate, either, there is some embellishment there. These days Youngblood concedes that point, "I didn't hit him as hard as I wanted".

Once in a while the football gods smile on you and now we have the play in question on video. It shows that maybe Dan Dierdorf was the most accurate when he was asked about the play and he said "All I know is I stood up to block Jack and there was no one there".

The play:


As can be seen, Olsen did hold up Dobler, Youngblood then hit Dobler with a glancing blow to the ribs and for a split second you can see Dobler dive at Youngblood, as was told in the Youngblood/Engle version of events. The play resulted in a Rams interception and an altercation of words between Dobler and Youngblood at the :27 second mark of the following clip. 

But, since the "eye in the sky does not lie" it is best to let the views make their own judgment but my view is the answer is found in the lyrics of the Buffalo Springfield song "For What Its Worth" when the group's Stephen Stills croons "Nobody's right if everybody's wrong".






Jeb Bush and the Jacksonville NFL Franchise

REMEMBER WHEN, I DIDN'T
by John Turney

The Milwaukee Journal - Aug 18, 1989


Doing a little research on a couple of former Bears linebackers, one who is coaching in Super Bowl 50 and came across this. Some of the veteran media may remember it, but this one escaped me. Jeb Bush and Hamilton Jordan heading a group to get the NFL to Jacksonville, which failed because he was not directly involved with the later group that was successful.

Then again, it was 1989 and I'd never heard of Jeb Bush and all I knew of Jordan was his alleged dalliance with the 1970s disco drug of choice. At the time I did know of George W. Bush's partial ownership of the Texas Rangers.

Apparently, after Jeb helped his father George H.W. Bush with his presidential campaign, he turned back to politics, rather than sports. In 1994 he lost the gubernatorial race to Governor Lawton Chiles but in 1998 he was elected governor of Florida and in 2002 he become the first Republican governor to win re-election in Florida.

Wonder what he's doing now.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Vince Lombardi's "All-Star Elevens"

LOOKING BACK
by John Turney

Shortly after the 1961 NFL Championship Game in which the Packers routed the New York Giants 37-0, United Press International sportswriter Henry McLemore interviewed Vince Lombardi and asked him to name his top eleven offensive and defensive players. It wasn't an All-Pro team, more of the "best in the business" list of those Lombardi had faced in his NFL coaching career. This is evident since a few of his names had already retired by the time the team was chosen.

Pro Football Journal, always in search of the esoteric found this interesting  as we did on this: Mel Hein's All-Time NFL Team.


Honorable mentions were Frank Gifford, Forrest Gregg, Norm Van Brocklin, Charley Conerly, Tom Fears, Crazy Legs Hirsch and Otto Graham.

Update:  Jim Patton of the Giants for Jack Butler. See details below.

The original article:
Credit: United Press
Of note is the inclusion of Billy Wilson, a fine receiver who led the NFL is receptions three times in the 1950s and also led the entire NFL in receptions for the Decade of the 1950s and was also a two-time All-Pro.

I am nearly certain that the right safety listed in the article is Hall of Famer Jack Butler rather than the "Jim Parker" it lists and an adjustment was made to the PFJ chart.

Update: Cliff Christl, writer and team historian for the Green Bay Packers e-mailed me and he is reasonably certain that Lombardi likely would have chosen Jim Patton as one of his safeties rather than Jack Butler. The original article mistakenly lists "Jim Parker" and I will accept Mr. Christl's view that Lombardi meant Jim Patton. 

Ted Connolly is interesting in that he made his first Pro Bowl after the 1961 season and may have been a "up-and-coming" type of pick. I would love to see the 1961 game film of the Packers versus the 49ers in that year to see what made such an impression in Lombardi's mind.

And as can be seen, Joe Schmidt is listed as a right linebacker, even though he had been a middle linebacker for at least six or seven years by 1961. It shows that even an expert like Lombardi will fill out an All-pro ballot in an odd way. (think Khalil Mack as OLB/DE in 2015)

If memory serves Lombardi may have chosen another "All-time team" in his later years, and if I can lay my hands on it, I will republish it as well, to see if there are differences.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Pro Football Writers of America Awards and the "AP Only" School of Thought

PERSPECTIVE
by John Turney

In the past decade or so I have noticed an approach to NFL Awards that seems to have gained momentum, but, in my view, is not historically accurate or even currently accurate.

The "approach" as I call it, is the "AP-only approach" to the various awards that are announced at the end of every NFL season.  The Awards are the All-Pro teams, the MVP, the Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, etc. Of course, the Associated Press (AP) is one of the major players or "veteran media" as the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement calls the sources for awards, but I contend it is not the only one.

Over the past several years I have had discussions with those who promote the AP-only approach and the comments I receive are similar to as follows: "The AP is THE All-Pro team"; The "AP are the "Official NFL Awards" or "The AP are the semi-official awards of the NFL",  or "the AP Awards have a television show", etc.

While I can see that in the age of the Internet"AP-only" could be a common perception. For many years the PFWA announced their teams/awards in Pro Football Weekly and that was largely a classic mail subscription magazine and when it did become more digital, it was subscription only and their All-Pro teams didn't get much play beyond their own subscribers, which, of course, were substantial. Prior to that marriage one could find that the PFWA All-Pro team had been reprinted in local newspapers - sometimes on the same day as the AP or NEA All-Pro teams. 

Similar things are also true of Sporting News who often didn't release it's awards until the issue that came out during Super Bowl week. I remember many times picking up the magazine in the press area of the Super Bowl media center and learning it's All-Pro team there. However, with the Super Bowl rightly sucking all the air out of the room and column space from newspapers who might have picked the story up in another week, it also didn't get the reprints in newspapers it did before.

Thus, in my opinion, younger fans and even younger writers simply were not aware of the teams since they got much of their information online and any search for All-Pro team would shows AP results more often than not. Now, as these younger writers and fans are in the habit of "AP-only" like many of us older folks were in the habit of a more diverse view of NFL awards.

Thus, the "AP-only" world view just not accurate because in the history of official publications of the NFL, such as the Official NFL Record and Fact Book, ProLog, The NFL Information Guide, (of which only the Record and Fact Book remains) there has never been a mention of the AP being official or semi-offical. It's been listed next to the other major selectors.

Add to that Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the NFL and Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the NFL   

Neither of those volumes designate any official NFL Awards, with very few exceptions. The most notable was the Joe F. Carr Trophy which went to the NFL MVP from 1938-46.

However, there have been a couple of NFL seasons in which the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) actually WAS the "Official NFL All-Pro Team" and that was in 1970 and 1971 as recorded in the  Official NFL Record Manuals published in 1971 and 1972.

See examples below:




In those two Record Books the AP All-Pro teams are not even included. To me, that ends the "AP only" school of thought that the AP was "official" or "semi-official" or "THE All-Pro team". Especially when coupled with Total Football which includes the AP All-Pro teams from those two years, but also the PFWA, the NEA, Pro Football Weekly as well as the UPI All-Conference teams

So, if the official NFL Publications prints an All-Pro team, it seems that would be the recognized All-Pro teams and awards. None have been given any extra gravitas over another, with the noted exceptions I have mentioned.

Added to which is the aforementioned NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, in which bonus may be awarded to players' contracts based on what the NFLPA and the NFL agree on are "veteran media" honors.
2011 NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement
Since 2011 when the above was agreed upon Pro Football Weekly has folded and Sports Illustrated's Paul Zimmerman is no longer able to pick teams because a tragic stroke (what a loss to us all) and successor to Dr. Z., Peter King wrote that didn't want his selections to have so much influence as to reward tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to a player he may select, or cost because he didn't select. 

So, that leaves three "Recognized Media":  AP, PFWA and SN.

As for the NFL Awards Show that does, in fact, feature the AP Awards, that is new to the AP, but not new to television. In 1967 and 1968 the NEA contracted with CBS for their awards to be presented as the annual banquet was filmed and televised in January of 1968 and 1969.

Here is a photo of two All-Pro linebackers from one of those NEA-CBS dinners:


With a topic so filled with minutia there are inevitably going to be some items I have omitted from this post, folks are free to comment, but in this case it's brevity that will likely be most understandable but there may be some exceptions that I am unaware of and please post them as well.

So, perhaps this can, at the very least, offer some evidence and perspective as to what an All-Pro or MVP is and maybe we can celebrate the AP awards as well as PFWA which is full of fine, dedicated NFL beat writers, and Sporting News which polls players and general managers and since 1992 has been the "players voice" as the NEA  All-Pro teams and awards were in the "glory days" (defined as when I was a kid).

Makes sense to me, one is a select group of media, another a larger slice of football writers and one team/awards is by those who work as players or general mangers. Gives a good cross section like in the days of the AP, UPI and NEA awards from the mid-1950s through 1969.

For the record, I am not a member of PFWA. Also for the record, I have no complaints against AP. Several years ago I did point out that they had been printing Gino Marchetti as the 1958 NFL MVP and a few other errors, but they have been partially corrected. The AP can, in my view, say they have been around the longest of the major teams, but as explained in this post, they are not now nor ever have been THE All-Pro team/awards.

And yes, Pro Football Journal has selected All-Pro teams and given awards recently, but in no way are they official nor would we advocate for such. We give them thought and try to do a good job, but we are just one voice and like to chime in on things we are passionate about. 

And for those PFWA awards, click here. For the AP, PFWA and SN side-by-side All-pro team click here. And I go to Wikipedia often to make sure the teams are accurate. Then again, sometimes folks get in there and make changes to put their favorite player in there, too. So, beware.